Alex Japho Matlala
4 minute read
16 May 2021
1:43 pm

Four Limpopo regions preparing for elective conferences

Alex Japho Matlala

Intensive lobbying is currently underway in the province, after the regions received the go-ahead from national leadership to proceed with their conferences.

Image: Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters

The most influential ANC region in Limpopo will join the province’s three biggest regions in elective conferences this winter, the Limpopo ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) has confirmed.

Through its provincial secretary, Soviet Lekganyane, the party said Peter Mokaba region will join Norman Mashabane, Vhembe, and Sekhukhune sub-regions in a period between May and July this year.

“We have received their plea to have their elective conference held before the party’s national general council (NGC). We elevated their plea to the national leadership of the ANC under the tutelage of President Cyril Ramaphosa which gave them the green light to go-ahead with the conference.” Said Lekganyane.

Lekganyane said all the regions, except for Waterberg, will have their conferences held before the end of the winter season.

Chairperson for the Peter Mokaba region, John Mpe, who doubles up as Capricorn District Municipality’s executive mayor, said the Peter Mokaba regional elective conference would be held from 2-4 July in a Polokwane venue still to be decided.

“Our region is the fourth biggest in the province in terms of membership with a total of 113 branches. I am coming from the biggest branch in the province called Mphogodiba Branch of the ANC with more than 130 members in good standing. Because of this huge membership number, we have decided to have two venues for our Branch Biennial General Meetings (BBGMs). We will do so in an endeavour to go on the same footing with Covid-19 protocols. But for our meeting to take place and begin with nominations, we will need about 650 members,” explained Mpe.

He also wasn’t shy to indicate his position in the build up to the conference. “I am available for nomination and I believe I have what it takes to take this region to greener pastures,” he said.

In the Vhembe region, contestation is between former Thulamela Municipal Manager, Makonde Mathivha and current executive mayor for the Vhembe district municipality, Dowelani Nenguda. Intensive lobbying is currently underway in branches from Makhado and Musina sub-region.

BBGMs in Collins Chabane and Thulamela sub-regions were put on hold due to the protracted demarcation feud currently taking place there.

In the Sekhukhune region, current chairperson, Stan Ramaila, current deputy Julia Mathebe, and Chief of Staff in Premier Stan Ramaila’s office, Mogale Nchabeleng, are going head to head for the plum post of ANC regional chairperson.

All three believe they have the upper-hand in terms of nominations, with Ramaila, who has led the region both politically and administratively, is said to be making inroads in Makhuduthamaga and Fetakgomo/Tubatsi sub-regions.

Meanwhile Nchabeleng, who served under three former Limpopo premiers, Sello Moloto, Cassel Mathale and current Premier Stan Mathabatha in senior managerial positions is said to be pocketing the majority of nominations in Ephraim Mohale, Makhuduthamaga and a fraction of nominations in the Elias Motsoaledi sub-region.

Mathebe, the only female in the race supposedly has the overwhelming support in Elias Motsoaledi sub-region. A source from the region, who is in her slate said: “She is the only woman in the race and the current deputy. Looking at how serious the ANC takes issues of gender parity, Mathebe is likely to go home with a trophy after the conference.”

In the Norman Mashabane sub-region, it looks like elections will be a walk in the park for the Limpopo provincial chairperson of the South African Local Government Association,(Salga) Pule Shayi. Shayi, who is also Mopani District Municipality’s executive mayor and Norman Mashabane ANC regional chairperson is calling the shots as chairperson of the province’s biggest region with 127 branches.

With only three weeks to go to the conference, Shayi has proven to have the overwhelming majority of branches and  is likely to be elected uncontested.

During his closing remarks after the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC took regional conferences very serious, as they were the build up to provincial and national conferences. He said since the start of the regional elective conference season, over 2000 branches have already begun with nominations.

“This is the first time that the majority of the BBGMs are held on the basis of a new membership electronic system. While there has been reported technical glitches, the new system has helped to protect the integrity of the movement’s key organisational process,” said Ramaphosa.

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